Walking and Noshing down Boulevard St.-Laurent?
Washington DC chowhound here and I've never been to Montreal. I have an opportunity to spend one day (a Sunday) in the city in a couple of weeks. On this trip I'm not interested in museums, galleries, shopping, parks, or amusements. I'm only interested in reasonably priced, delicious food. I want to park the car in one place and walk. Walking up to 8 miles would be no big deal for me. Of course the more I eat the less distance I can cover. From my initial research, I thought it might be a good idea to start at the Jean Talon market and then walk down the Boulevard St.Laurent toward the river. Where do the local chowhounds suggest I stop and taste on this voyage? Or is there a better direction to head? Oh yeah, unless I'm lying in the gutter in a gluttonous stupor I need to walk back to my car. Should I go back on the Rue St. Denis or is there a more interesting return?
Your route is a good one, and one that is best covered on foot alright. Your only problem is that Schwartz's and Coco Rico are too close together :)
Go early at JTM (st-laurent near it) and eat, drink, feast for breakfast; and then walk down to around Laurier St. where it becomes more interresting during the day.
on Laurier St. go west 1 block to "Les Touilleurs" a fancy-ish kitchen equipment store, and walk on laurier in that direction, then go down again on St-Laurent to continue your walk.
From there, there are tons of nice places to eat and window-lick; from Sandwich places, to fries/poutine to portugese, Polish (east-european), ...
You could also do a detour onto Parc for part of the walk and do moh's incredible bakery/espresso tour:
St-Denis is more of a cafe- & bar- & boutique-lined "chi-chi" street than a down-home foodie street (not really a street on which to find tons of "reasonably priced, delicious food" IMO, though there are of course a few exceptions) so personally I'd say skip it. You could certainly walk down St-Laurent and come up Parc, or vice-versa.
It's your lucky weekend, St Laurent is closed off (from Sherbrook to past Mont Royal) for their annual Street Festival all weekend (I think it actually started yesterday). This means most of the little restaurants serve their food out in the street (yes including Schwartz), Eastern Euro sausages, Portuguese sandwiches, noodles, jerk chicken, etc...etc... is all there for the taking. Enjoy.
I will be there tomorrow and or tonight. Let's hope the weather cooperates.
don't forget St Laurent is closed to traffic this weekend between Mont Royal and Sherbrooke. There's loads of restos/cafes/eateries that set up grills outdoors. My faves are a little portugese place on the corner of Marie-Anne (if you're waking down st laurent its to your left, one block south from where the barriers start at Mont Royal), for the sardines and chourico. And L corridor, again on your left if you're walking south, between des Pins and Prince Arthur. Fantastic jerk chicken, patties, roties. You might be in trouble....way too much food for one day! Good luck and enjoy....it will be packed on this stretch if the weather is good.
This is all fantastic advice! Thank-you
I don't want "chi-chi" so I'll walk back on Parc
Breakfast at the JTM will get me started.
I think I can do this without a clogged artery:
I want something from a bakery:
I want to try poutine:
I want something French and casual like for Onion Soup and/or a crepe:
I want meat (have to chose one I guess):
Shwartz's for smoked
FS4131 place on the corner of Marie-Anne for Portugese
If I die after doing this I want to know I did it right.
Bakery - definitely Cocoa Local or Fous Desserts, depending on what you want (but check moh's mile-end pastry tour for more ideas...)
Poutine - La Banquise. Patati-Patata's fries are good, but if you're only having one poutine, I'd continue walking to La Banquise.
Crepes are best at Juliette et Chocolat (on Laurier)
Smoked meat - Schwartz's. The other two places are chicken, but again, it depends which you'd rather have. You'll end up with clogged arteries with either choice anyways :-)
Walking back along St. Denis is a good idea. I'd recommend a stop at ice cream shop Meu-Meu, on St. Denis just before Mt. Royal